Wednesday, February 29, 2012

John 6:10-15

In yesterday’s verses we saw that when Jesus turned to Philip, asking him what could be done to feed the massive crowd, Philip had no idea. He was looking at the problem and not to the Source of the solution. Yet, Jesus did not rebuke him or throw him out of the twelve as a failure of faith. In fact, He used Philip to accomplish this miracle we’re going to witness this morning! You have to figure that at least ten of the other disciples were probably nodding their heads in agreement with Philip, right?

I love what Jon Courson says about this! “Jesus didn’t say to His disciples, ‘ You bozos. Get out of the way and let Me do a miracle.’ No, He met them where they were and said, ‘Even though you don’t have the faith to see what I can do with the little given to Me, I’ll use you anyway. Could you make the people sit down? Could I use you in that way?’ ” (Courson, P. 482)

And that’s just what happened:

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:10-13)

Don’t you love the orderliness of our God? He wanted everyone to sit quietly to be fed, in the same way that He wants us to be still so He can feed us. And then, He doesn’t want anything wasted, but all leftovers gathered. I think He inspired Tupperware! So, He has the disciples get the people to sit in groups of fifty (Luke 9:14), then He models what we need to do when we are insufficient or lack what we need to accomplish our task, He gave thanks to the Father! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thank in everything! Again, I turn to Courson’s take on this, because it’s right on and so encouraging:

“So, too, regarding your dilemma, your frustration, your fear - do what Jesus did. Lift up your eyes and say, ‘Thank you, Father, that You’re going to take care of this situation. I know You will. You are faithful. You have never let me down but have done exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think. When I thought I couldn’t make it, You pulled me through. When I thought I was going under, You pulled me up. When I thought I was out of it, You pulled me back.” (P.489)

Now, when Philip was not able to see an answer at the outset, note that Jesus already knew what He was going to do and how He was going to do it. Philip was one of the twelve who witnessed the miracle first hand. And he was one of the twelve who gathered the overflowing leftovers (exceeding abundantly, indeed!) in a basket. Don’t you love that EACH of the disciples was given a basket of leftovers to grow his faith?

So whatever our situation, whatever miracle we need, God KNOWS what He is going to do and how He is going to do it - exceedingly abundantly, of course! Even if we lack faith or have just enough faith to bring our few loaves and fishes, He can and will use us if we’ll just obey the small tasks He gives us. I’m believing that God will use our little faith and do GIANT miracles for baby Royce and for our little kindergartner, Valen, who is so sick. Keep praying and giving thanks in EVERYTHING!


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